Hollywood’s finest will take to the red carpet this Sunday (4 March) for the 90th Academy Awards, but while there will be many Oscars given to the human stars of the silver screen, their moggy co-stars have once again been overlooked in the nominations.
To put this right, we’ve created our own award categories for some of the best feline performances in movie history. Let us know if you think the winners are deserving of their Oscar nods and tell us if you think we’ve forgotten a particularly pawsome cat character.
Best on-screen transformation: McGonagall from Harry Potter
There are a few moggy stars in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, but McGonagall’s feline form is a definite fan favourite. The Hogwarts professor is an Animagus, meaning she can transform herself into a silver tabby at will, helping her to stalk the school corridors in secret and keep a watchful eye on her students.
Best dance moves: Garfield
Having starred in comic strips since 1978, portly puss Garfield made his big screen debut in 2004. His adventures in New York with Odie the dog not only gave him the chance to show off his dance moves but also spawned a sequel set in the UK.
Best villain’s sidekick: Blofeld’s cat
For his first two appearances on screen, James Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stravo Blofeld could only be identified by the white Chinchilla cat (a breed from the Persian family) on his lap. The sinister bad guy’s face is not shown until You Only Live Twice, so until then the limelight was given to his trusty moggy who soon became a trademark for movie supervillains, inspiring Dr Evil’s Mr Bigglesworth in Austin Powers.
Best action hero: Jones from Alien
Ripley’s pet ginger tom kept her and her crew company on the USCSS Nostromo, and even tried to warn crewmember Brett when the terrifying title character was behind him. He and Ripley were the only survivors of the alien invasion, making him a true hero and worthy of a role in the sequel too.
Cutest actor in a leading role: Puss in Boots
Swashbuckling moggy Puss in Boots was originally in the supporting cast of Shrek 2, but eventually got to see his name up in lights with his own spin-off movie. As well as his superb sword-fighting skills, the smooth-talking kitty also uses his adorable big eyes to get his way and save the day with his friends.
Best smile: Cheshire Cat
The feline star of Lewis Carroll’s weird and wonderful Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has appeared in two Disney adaptations of the story. His trademark grin and mischievous ways sometimes help Alice but can also get her into trouble on her adventures.
Best alarm clock: Cat from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Orangey the tabby cat was an animal actor who starred in a number of different movies in the 50s and 60s, and even won two PATSY (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year) Awards. However, his most iconic role is certainly as Holly Golightly’s Cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s which saw him strike up a close bond with Audrey Hepburn. The actress said that throwing her moggy co-star out into the rain for a scene was the most distasteful act she ever had to carry out for a role.
Best musical performance: The Aristocats
Everybody wants to be a cat when they see the stars of Disney’s animation in full swing. Before they meet the jazz-playing alley cats, Duchess and her kittens give a wonderful piano performance as they practice their scales and arpeggios – quite a challenge with only paws at their disposal!
Best cat in a recurring role: Déjà vu cat from The Matrix
Although only on screen for a few seconds, the monochrome moggy in The Matrix performs a very important role. When Neo sees the cat walk past a doorway twice in the same direction, he learns that his moment of déjà vu signifies a glitch in the Matrix, warning him and his crew that trouble is ahead.